Entries Tagged 'County Commission' ↓

NEW Sioux Falls City Council Elect introduces themselves to the Minnehaha CC today

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Starr, Stehly, Neitzert, Selberg

They talked about intergovernmental cooperation, etc.

You will notice goat roper Karsky in the back row pretending to learn something about county government.

Is the Minnehaha County Commission chair financially encouraging subversion of the city council with Erin Srstka?


The word on the street is that the women in POWER in Sioux Falls, are going to make Erin Srstka the next (female) power house in city government. The problem? She has a lot of conflicts.

Not just the fact that she works as a full time county employee while applying to be a part-time city employee, she also has some interesting donors to her cause.

I guess it shouldn’t surprise us that Steve Erpenbach (Michelle’s husband) gave money (She is the one telling everyone she is going to make Erin a star, all the while borrowing her husband’s wallet :)

But what is really creepy is the chair of the Minnehaha County Commission who doesn’t even live in Sioux Falls is giving money (she also couldn’t give from her own purse).

Not sure why these two ladies are so heck bent on getting Erin elected to city council they are ignoring the conflicts of interest, but we should be concerned. Remember, Cindy Heiberger lead the charge on the ultra secretive appointment of Jean Bender to the County Commission, and Michelle lead the charge to get our last city clerk fired. They are the last two women I want recruiting council candidates no matter their color, weight or sex.


I wouldn’t want either across the street from me

Some times you have to make sacrifices if you want to live in a certain part of town, or should you? I live in the landing flight pass of the airport, 2 blocks from where hospital helicopter takes off from, 4 railroad tracks, several bars and casinos and a busy arterial street. But I like my location and my mortgage payment, so I drown out the noise.

These neighbors seem to be arguing over whether they want a plastic or metal trash can next to their homes;

A Sioux Falls man says his business neighbor is in clear violation of city zoning rules.

Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc. is a salvage yard, Bernie Schmidt says, an industrial-grade business that doesn’t belong next to a residential neighborhood.

The city says the 11-acre business is a “vehicle storage and auction facility,” fully compliant with rules for a light industrial zone and capable of harmonious coexistence with residential neighbors.

The distinction is important: Salvage yards aren’t permitted in light industrial zones. Wholesaling and manufacturing facilities are.

Kind of sounds like they are splitting hairs. Inoperable vehicles sitting in a ‘yard’ kind of makes it a ‘salvage’ yard. Either way, I wouldn’t want to live door to neither.

But the interesting part of the story is how the county and city look at things differently;

City officials say Tiede’s ruling isn’t binding for the city, which uses different zoning language than the county.

This happens quite often, and the city often bucks the county to get their way. I wish the neighbors luck.

Sioux Falls City Council Candidate announcement next week.

Expect to hear at least one announcement next week for someone running for the Northeast district that will be left vacant since Anderson is term-limited.

I also pulled petitions for Minnehaha County Commission as an independent candidate in the November election. I’m not sure if I will submit the petitions or not, just gathering at this point. I have until the end of April to decide.

Two seats are up for grabs, Dick Kelly and Jean Bender. Not sure if either has decided to run. The two top vote getters become commissioners.

The School Board will hold an Election to fill two vacancies when the terms of Kent Alberty and Carly Reiter expire in July. The School District’s annual Election will be held in conjunction with the City of Sioux Falls Municipal Election April 12, 2016 from 7:00 A.M. until 7:00 P.M. I haven’t heard of any challengers at this point.

Sioux Falls & Brandon Public Schools seem to be confused about the term ‘Public’

”He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security.” – Ben Franklin

Voting is the cornerstone of a free democracy, so where should this exercise take place? Well, probably in a public place, but Brandon & SF School District officials are saying “Not so Fast”;

Sioux Falls Schools officials have told county election managers that Hawthorne won’t be available for voting this election, citing security concerns.

Bob Bray, risk assessment manager for the Sioux Falls School District, said the building’s layout and scheduling make it hard to keep voters and students separate.

First off Mr. Bray, kids can be shot anywhere, parks, churches, walking down the street, and an election being held in your school is NOT going to increase that risk, and I almost question if you are using school shootings as an excuse.

Secondly, schools are publicly funded, and I almost question the legality of the districts denying access for an election, and would challenge Auditor Litz to dig up the laws on it.

Thirdly, the irony of all this couldn’t be more hypocritical. In a state where we scream and hollar about gun rights and being able to carry guns anywhere, we turn our backs on the very people who carry these guns and say, “Not in our facilities.” Well we can’t have it both ways. Until we change our culture about guns in South Dakota, there will still be shootings, whether they are accidental, intentional, or in a church or school setting, elections have little to do with when they occur.

Let’s end the paranoia, and stop the musical precincts;

Minnehaha County Commissioner Dick Kelly said he’s concerned the move will contribute to voter confusion during an important election.

“I think it is unfortunate you have to vote here one day, vote here another then vote here the next,” Kelly said

Litz agreed the search for polling places is a joint effort, requiring cooperation between the district and the county.

Never thought Bob and Dick would be the words of wisdom on this one, but they are right. Consistency helps with voter turnout.

Why did the Minnehaha County Commission appoint the same chair 3 years in a row?

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I have mixed views on term limits, but when it comes to peers essentially serving in similar duties, why not pass the buck around?

The Minnehaha County Commission conducted its first official meeting of the year on Tuesday, January 5, 2016. Commissioner Cindy Heiberger was elected to serve as Chairman of the County Commission.

I find this odd, for a couple of reasons.

• I would think Cindy would want a break after 2 years.

• Jeff Barth was ALSO nominated by Dick Kelly, and seconded by Jeff.

Is Cindy’s paranoia so strong when it comes to Barth as chair (Democrat) she is willing to do a job she may be tired of for another year?

Party pride can get the best of us. Glad I am an Indy.

Public Input, Minnehaha County Commission, 11/24/2015

(FF to 18:00)

Several people came to talk about petitioning in front of the Administration Building.

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Minnehaha County Commission Races

Rumor has it that a Sioux Falls city councilor that is term limited this Spring is considering a run for the county commission. Also, some have been suspecting that appointed commissioner Jean Bender will not run because she has found the job to be ‘overwhelming’.

Maybe if the commission would have been more transparent when they made the appointment, they would have picked someone who was more ‘committed’ to public service instead of someone who was ‘connected’ in the developer community.

But what do I know, I’m just a speculator.

Homan’s Horse Barn Hectics

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Well if you want to kill an hour of your time and lose 60 minutes you will NEVER get back, watch the latest Minnehaha County Commission meeting (10/6/2015).

As a commissioner said to me today (explaining the proceedings) “It was truly watching sausage being made.”

I guess that is a nice way of putting it. It was a cluster F’ of sub motions, memory loss, angry directors, staff attorneys and literally horse trading events. When the smoke cleared, Homan was sent back to the planning commission (3-2) to figure out how to re-build a horse barn (that doesn’t need to be re-built, because, well, it is still there).

The Homan’s were looking for a ‘safety net’ so to speak ‘in-case’ the barn would to burn down or get carried away by a tornado or other natural disaster (you never know these days). The problem? It’s not zoned ag (anymore).

See the county isn’t to blame, and neither are the zoning laws. It seems (what I could gather from the sausage fest) that the Homan’s were duped into buying a ‘quaint’ little acreage that isn’t zoned ag. See the barn was originally built on 40 acres of ag zoned land, and the owner of that parcel decided to make a smaller parcel for the Homans to purchase, but either he didn’t tell them the zoning would change OR they didn’t research it, either way, it seems according to the planning director for the county, they are SOL.

Funny, after all the years of Homan skirting the School District’s rules of actually living in the district you work for, it seems there are some rules that cannot be stretched.

Lincoln County Commissioner King’s anti-bike rant further proves that some people shouldn’t be elected to public office


I bet you my horse you wouldn’t catch me riding a bicycle on the streets of Sioux Falls.

Should we be just a bit concerned that an elected official in one of the fastest growing counties in the United States is anti-bicycle? Yes we should.

Sitting on several boards as part of my duties, I’ve been learning more about the new bicycle lanes that have cropped up around town. I couldn’t be more concerned about the hazardous conditions these create on our streets.

I’ve been around enough to know the arguments before I even hear them, that safe drivers and safe bicyclists doing what they’re supposed to should make for a happy mix. That’s pure fantasy.

Bikes and vehicles shouldn’t share confined space, period.

Well Dan, I’m not going to pull any fancy statistical math out of my butt, but I will pull some stats from my personal experience. The safest place for any bicyclist is on the street, riding with traffic and obeying the same laws as motorists. Bicyclists should also wear bright clothes, have lights and a helmet. I have been riding on the streets/sidewalks/bike trails of Sioux Falls since 1993. Guess how many accidents I have been in riding on the streets? Zero. Guess how many I have been in riding on the bike trail or sidewalks . . . I have lost track. I have broken my elbow trying to avoid a pedestrian on a sidewalk, I have been bumped numerous times by vehicles coming out of approaches while riding on the sidewalk, I almost dislocated my shoulder while hitting a curb, riding on the sidewalk (that one destroyed the entire front of my bike). I have also gotten a fat lip from eating my handlebars after going off the curb, while riding on the sidewalk. Besides the occasional ‘F’You!’ from motorists riding on the street or the honk of a horn and a middle finger, NO one has ever hit me either intentionally or accidently riding on the street. Why you ask? BECAUSE MOTORISTS CAN SEE YOU! It really is that simple.

I’d hang my hat on the premise that South Dakotans employ a larger degree of logic and reasoning. Unfortunately, bicycle lanes are planned by a tiny group of elected officials and paid planners/consultants.

I probably wouldn’t hang my hat there when it comes to planning bike lanes, and while I often cringe when public officials hire ‘consultants’ I guess I would much prefer a bike/traffic professional planning our bike lanes then farmer Joe. You don’t go to a Chiropractor to cure Cancer, you go to an Oncologist (that’s the fancy word for Cancer Doctor, BTW).

I’m concerned that the vast majority of Sioux Falls motorists will have no idea they’re coming till they turn onto the new streets.

I would agree that that is unfortunate, but as I tell all of my friends who are getting into bike commuting and riding on our streets, RIDE DEFENSIVELY and CARRY A BIG HORN! The same goes for driving a car or walking across a street, always be aware of your surroundings. Do motorists get a free pass because they drive a much larger heavier vehicle? They can just plow people over if they don’t see them? That is about as ridiculous statement as it comes.

I’ve raised my concerns, and probably a couple tempers voicing these thoughts in board meetings. I’ve hit a brick wall in doing anything about it myself.

Dan, you have probably hit a brick wall because YOU ARE WRONG and people are tired of arguing with you and all your ‘wrongness’.

I’d just like to take this opportunity to let my fellow drivers know what’s coming. Be safe folks, on two wheels or several. Logic and reasoning were both left untouched in the toolbox on this one.

I would also like to take this opportunity to tell the same folks to NOT re-elect Dan King to the county commission. Logic and reasoning were obviously left untouched in the ballot box when he was elected to his first term.

We need bicycle lanes on our Sioux Falls streets, it just makes sense.